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Go Series: 10 Second Run (DSiWare) Review

Review for Go Series: 10 Second Run on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

You have three long minutes to wait until your toast is done. You’re already anticipating chomping down on the rapidly cooling bread as you dash out of the door and towards work, but you need something to distract you from the empty pit of your stomach until then. What do you do? Check Facebook, watch a little news, stare impatiently out of the window? Alternately, you could crack open your DSi and get in nine or ten goes on G-mode’s 10 Second Run, part of Gamebridge’s Go Series, before the bread’s even finished browning. Be warned: 10 Second Run is a tiny platformer, but it has the potential to occupy far more than the advertised amount of time. You might even forget that you wanted that breakfast...

The set up is very simple: in each level you must navigate a series of platforms and obstacles to reach a goal. The catch is, you’ve only got ten seconds per attempt on each stage. Early levels pose little challenge, and most people should be able to sail through them quite quickly. It’s not long before hazards begin to get introduced - fire, burning so hot that it’s blue, disintegrating or moving platforms, mine-like enemies, huge gaps to fall into - and the jumps get more demanding, forcing you to make death-defying mid-air maneuvers at the apex of each leap. That’s when you realise that the concept and the basic presentation are all just one big ruse, hiding away one heck of an addictively difficult game.

Despite the toughness setting in once you’ve bested half of the 50 trials on offer, 10 Second Run never gets particularly frustrating, mainly because you just don’t have the time to get angry at its microscopic levels. Immediately after death you’re always given the chance to try the level again. Do so and the clock is soon back on screen to start the count down from three, a terse tone at each number, before the quickening music bursts in again to build tension and bring sweat to your palms, the hundredths of seconds slipping away as you attempt the current obstacle course once again.

Screenshot for Go Series: 10 Second Run on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

It’s very cleverly designed. Each level gives you a whisper of the knowledge of what was to come next whenever you die, the next obstacle often just grazing the right edge of the screen. The infinite retries also encourage the ‘one more go’ mantra, and what better game to have another go of than one that takes ten seconds, plus a few extra as the levels are restarted, to have another crack at? The result is an instantly addictive game, and before you know it you’re on your tenth, twentieth, thirtieth attempt at a brutal stage. Yet all levels are unlocked from the very start, meaning that you can skip levels and come back to them later whenever you choose.

In addition to the standard levels, 10 Second Run also presents a training mode so that you can traverse levels at your own pace - and, unless you have the hand-to-eye co-ordination of a god, that might be the only way you get to finish some of the later levels. Marathon mode has you going through each level in succession without time limitations, restarting from the start of any stage that you die on while the time continues to tick on, the aim being to complete the whole lot as fast as possible. Normal stages save your completion times also, adding a record-beating aspect to a game that is already essentially a collection of extreme speed run challenges. The only negative is the lack of online leaderboards, which would have been perfect for 10 Second Run. Also be warned of some ambiguous translation on the options menu: ‘Initialise Data’, as suspected, actually means ‘clear data’, throwing all your hard-earned records into the abyss in less time than it would take to complete one of the game’s levels.

Screenshot for Go Series: 10 Second Run on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


Perfectly pitched platform action, with levels so short but well-designed that you will re-try failed stages again and again without much of a grumble. You’ll feel like a master when completing some of these stages.


A simple style, with most objects only having a scant few frames of animation. There is no need for anything flashy here, though, as it would have been distracting. Certain obstacles and your character are highlighted in colour in the black and white world - no excuses for not knowing where you are.


Only one track during play, but due to the length of the levels it never gets too old, delivering just the right amount of tension. Sound effects add to this and make sure you know when you’ve done a bad job.


At only 200 Nintendo Points, this is perfect as an impulse buy, and there’s plenty of content to keep you going for hours. The only downside is the lack of online leaderboards.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Go Series: 10 Second Run deserves a place on any DSi system. The fast-paced, plentiful content will occupy even the most hardened gamers for hours with its extreme but just-about-feasible level of challenge, and at the price it should be nigh-on impossible to resist. A treat that will only have you clock-watching in a good way.

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AdamC3 (guest) 05.10.2010 18:27#1

Sounds fun. I wonder what other little DSiWare gems Gamebridge will be bringing over under the Go! banner...Perhaps we can all make some suggestions. I'd vote for the mini version of action RPG From the Abyss by Sonic Powered Smilie

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